Asset manager BlackRock is set to be signed up as the manager of a $75 billion fund being put together by U.S. banks to help struggling structured investment vehicles (SIVs), the Financial Times said, without citing the source of the information.
The FT said BlackRock declined to comment. No one at the asset manager was immediately available for comment.
The FT said the appointment of the asset manager was seen as a vote of confidence in the planned superfund, which has the support of the U.S. Treasury but has been treated with skepticism by investors and analysts.
SIVs have been hit by a double whammy as the value of their assets -- mainly bank debt and asset-backed securities -- has fallen sharply due to contagion from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, while their access to short-term funding has been severely limited as investors shun asset-backed commercial paper.
Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase said last month they would set up the pooled asset fund, to be called Master Liquidity Enhancement Conduit, or M-LEC, to prevent SIVs being forced to sell off those assets in the absence of short-term financing.
(Reporting by Richard Barley; editing by Sue Thomas)